Theme: n/a

o o o

Will Lennox eyed his tiny daughter carefully. She had that set, thoughtful look on her face that he'd come to know and fear. It wasn't fair, really, that a full-grown, battle-hardened soldier should be so easily swayed by a child, so he consoled himself that he was setting to right some imbalance of his in a past life and steeled himself for what the girl was going to say.

"Daddy, can we get a dog? Kinda like Unc' Sam?"

Will bit back a groan and resisted the urge to thump his head off Ironhide's steering wheel. Of course. Mojo had been with Sam at the Autobot base, an aging bundle of still-active nerves and high-pitched yips. Annabelle had loved him on sight, and the afternoon had been spent with the girl pampering the tiny dog, all belly rubs and cuddles and the treats that she'd snuck from Sam's office. Mojo had consented with good will to the treatment, despite Will's unvoiced worry that Anna would get nipped for carrying him around like a baby.

And now, she was hooked on getting a canine. Hoo boy.

Will relaxed back against the padded leather seat, casually pretending to drive, as Ironhide had a mild aversion to being 'steered around by some organic like a mindless hunk of metal'. He tried to think of a way to stall, failed, and looked at Annabelle again. "A dog, sugar?" He asked. "A little lap-rat like Mojo?"

Annabelle screwed up her face in thought, nose wrinkling. "Mojo's nice but he's tiny." She said finally. "I want a big dog. One I can ride on and wrestle with."

And get bitten by and eaten up like Little Red Riding Hood, Will's mind finished grimly. He'd been born and bred in the city, and while living out in the middle of nowhere was nice enough, he was still wary around anything bigger than a guinea pig, doubly so if Annabelle was involved. Which made the girl's utter adoration of anything with four legs and fur a real trial on his fatherly nerves.

Obviously, it was time to play 'distract the baby'.

"What'dya need a dog for?" He asked, grinning down at the earnest face turned towards his. "We're riding in our own giant pet mutt right now." In response, Ironhide's engine revved, shaking the entire vehicle, and Will grinned wider when Annabelle giggled. "See? He even growls like one."

The rock from the radio abruptly cut off. "That's not funny." Ironhide warned. Will wasn't fooled for a bit. The radio was silent for a moment before Ironhide continued. "What is it with you humans and your claiming ownership on stupid animals?"

"So, you're a stupid animal now?" Will drawled, and the entire cab gave a shake that made Annabelle shriek with laughter. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry." Will chuckled, holding up his hands disarmingly, ignoring the fact that he should be pretending to drive. "Please don't smash us, Mr. Giant Robot."

"Humans," Ironhide growled, making the word a half-felt curse. "Don't know why I put up with you."

"Cause you love us." Annabelle replied cheerfully, earning only an annoyed grumble back from the truck. Will relaxed, hands back on the wheel. For a moment, it seemed that turning Annabelle's attention to Ironhide had worked. Then she looked back at him and he swore mentally. "Please, Daddy?" She begged, clasping her hands and fluttering her eyelashes ridiculously. "Can we get a dog?"

Will knew, knew, that Ironhide was laughing at his discomfort and apparent inability to deny his girl. More of that balancing act, karma at work or something equally annoying. "...I'll talk to your mom about it." He said finally. Annabelle clapped her hands in delight, and Will sighed.

o o o

Will kept his promise. Sarah had been doubtful, but willing to consider the idea. "I'm not bringing home Beethoven, though," she had warned, and Will had quite eagerly agreed.

Later on, when Ironhide sent his phone a smug text message asking which of them really wore the collar in the house, Will deleted it with a sour jab of his thumb.

o o o

Sarah frowned to herself when she checked in on Annabelle the next morning. The girl's bed was empty, the blanket gone. She had a habit of disappearing from bed in the night, finding somewhere else in the house to sleep - the couch, the linen closet, under the kitchen table, and more than once, Ironhide's cab. She was always safe enough, but Sarah still found it disconcerting. Sighing through her nose, she started checking the usual places for her wayward girl.

Annabelle was in the living room. And she wasn't alone.

The dog was huge - a great mastiff, dark red-brown and built like a tank. Sarah's voice caught, jagged in her throat, at the sight of the creature sprawled across her living room rug, Annabelle curled against the dark cliff of it's belly and sleeping soundly. Sarah backed away, trying to find the wits to get Will and his rifle, not daring to leave her baby alone with the beast.

"Sarah?" Will, behind her, coming down the stairs. "Baby, Anna's disappeared again, you-Jesus!" The exclamation fell from his mouth at the sight of the dog on the floor, his eyes going wide at the scene. Slowly, he drew back into himself, tensing, and to Sarah, it looked like her husband was two seconds from vaulting the couch and taking the thing on bare-handed to protect their daughter. Will was already formulating a way to get them all outside without harm coming to Sarah or Annabelle, and maybe have Ironhide step on the thing when it chased them.

One of the dog's eyes opened to look at them - bright, electric, unnaturally glowing blue.

Will blinked and tried to swallow past the lump of alarm that blocked his throat. "...Ironhide?" He managed slowly, hearing Sarah's breath hitch slightly at the word. He'd seen the alien robots use what Ratchet called 'holomatter forms' before - usually a false driver with a bad moustache. It had never once occurred to him that they could take other forms as well.

As if in answer to his query, his phone rang from his pocket, the jaunty tune that meant a message from someone not so human. Will fished it out and flipped it open, Sarah leaning over his arm to read.

-until you decide to get her a true oversized rodent this should suffice-

Will and Sarah looked at each other for a moment, bewildered, before the phone sang again, alerting them to another message.

-and dont give me that slag about her being heartbroken when the hologram disappears. she knows its me-

Will let out a long, slow breath, the tension in his chest finally easing. "Fine," he said. "But you better watch how realistic you decide to make the thing, especially on my rug." The false mastiff let out a distinctly Ironhide-ish huff at them, the huge head settling more firmly on his front paws. Will rolled his eyes and followed Sarah into the kitchen for coffee. Oblivious to them all, Annablle slept on.

o o o

Ahaha, oh WOW, I haven't written in forever, and it shows XD Ironhide keeps worming his way into plot bunnies all over the place. He also doesn't use proper grammar in his text messages :B

Anywho, a new fandom has taken over upstairs, and a new 'Glances' series has been started. In these, I try to focus on things that, while not actually stated in canon, are close enough to possibly be true. So, no out-and-out pairings, unless canon-stated, though hints are always possible. Usually, it'll be just what the title promises - glances into the scenes we don't see in the movies.

Also: I know next to squat about anything that came before the 2007 movie, so, working off movie!verse versions of characters, and if I throw Prowl or someone in somewhere and he doesn't come out quite right, feel free to tell me.

And as for the 'theme:', if I write based off a prompt or something from a generator, I'll note it.